Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Need of the hour, rising congestion: Second airport to unlock aviation growth in Mumbai

On January 20, the second-largest aerodrome in the country — Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) at Mumbai — handled a record 980 flights in a single day, becoming the world’s busiest airport with a single runway. Even as few other airports in the world such as London’s Gatwick airport operate at a similar rate, the Mumbai airport is constrained for capacity and is near its saturation point in terms of handling flights as well as passengers. This has also had an impact on Mumbai’s contribution to the growth story of India’s aviation sector. A close look at data for top 17 air routes in India provided by research firm OAG shows that the percentage of seats allocated to sectors involving Mumbai came down to 51 per cent in 2017 from 61 per cent in 2007.

In terms of the pecking order, routes such as Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai saw sharp fall in their positions according to number of seats over the 10-year period from 3rd to 10th, 8th to 15th and 12th to 17th, respectively. Apart from the Mumbai-Dubai-Mumbai route, none of the other routes involving the financial capital of India saw an increase in ranking.
The CSIA, which is operated by Mumbai International Airport Ltd – a joint-venture between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and a GVK-led consortium, reached 94 per cent of its maximum passenger handling capacity in 2017, according to research firm CAPA, which also said that the airport was expected to reach full capacity in 2018. Further, according to data compiled by AAI, during the nine-month period ended December 2017, Mumbai airport reported the slowest on-year growth in number of domestic aircraft movements among the top five airports of the country. While Mumbai’s domestic aircraft movements grew 2.6 per cent on year, those at Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad grew by 11.3 per cent, 4.2 per cent, 23.1 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.
20/02/18 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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